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Continued: South metro schools launch a new year

  • Article by: ERIN ADLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 2, 2014 - 3:00 PM

Three new classes that go beyond previous calculus offerings have been added: Multivariable Calculus, Differentiated Equations and Linear Algebra.

The business department is introducing a new Introduction to Computer Programming course to help students prepare for the Advanced Placement Computer Programming class and the school’s robotics program.

Farmington

Principal: Jason Berg

One of the most obvious updates at Farmington is the new principal, Jason Berg. He replaces Ben Kusch, who is now leading Shakopee High School.

Berg isn’t new to the district or high school. He taught math at Farmington for eight years. He was also a curriculum specialist for two years and assistant principal for a year and a half.

Like several other south metro high schools, Farmington is implementing Ramp Up to Readiness, a college preparation program offered through the University of Minnesota. The program gets students to put together a plan for their high school career, said Berg, which fits well with the districtwide focus on personalizing education.

There are 10 new staff members at the high school this year. Berg said the new faces are a welcome addition: “We’re excited when we get new staff members. We get new ideas and ways of thinking.”

Henry Sibley

Principal: Ron Monson

After 25 years in the classroom, Ron Monson is trading life science for life as a high school principal. Monson, Henry Sibley’s new principal, was also a coach, an athletic administrator and most recently an assistant principal.

“I’m super excited to be here,” he said. “My excitement is around community and culture.”

This is the third year that the school has implemented the college-readiness program Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), which means it is now offered to grades 9, 10 and 11. The school is now an officially-certified AVID site. In the long-term, a goal is to expand AVID concepts across the school, Monson said.

The school has its largest freshman class in decades, with more than 400 students. Last year’s graduating class was just 273.

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  • As members of the Blaze Blazettes dance team warmed up on the field, youth football players began to arrive for Burnsville football’s fourth annual “Kick Off Bash” on Aug. 22. Across the south metro, schools and students have been gearing up for the start of the new school year.

  • As members of the Blaze Blazettes dance team warmed up on the field, youth football players began to arrive for Burnsville football’s fourth annual “Kick Off Bash” on Aug. 22. Across the south metro, schools and students have been gearing up for the start of the new school year.

  • A new track, artificial turf and an updated scoreboard were installed this summer at Dan Patch Stadium, where Prior Lake teams play.

  • Uniformed St. Thomas Academy students attended a Prep Bowl game in 2012. This school year will mark the last the academy participates in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

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